This corpus-based study of allusions in the British press shows the
range of targets journalists allude to - from Shakespeare to TV
soaps, from Jane Austen to Hillary Clinton, from hymns to nursery
rhymes, proverbs and riddles. It analyzes the linguistic forms
allusions take and demonstrates how allusions function meaningfully
in discourse. It explores the nature of the background cultural and
intertextual knowledge allusions demand of readers and sets out the
processing stages involved in understanding an allusion. Allusion
is integrated into existing theories of indirect language and
linked to idioms, word-play and metaphor.
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